6 Ways to Preserve The Most Nutrients in Your Fruits and Vegetables

by Yuen Yi Ying
FOOD  |  August 31, 2018
  • Learn how to store your fruits and vegetables
    1 / 6 Learn how to store your fruits and vegetables

    Keep your foods fresh by putting them away properly when you get home. In general, put produce you picked up from the refrigerator section in your fridge. Leave fruits and vegetables unwashed, as washing them can cause them to spoil. Toss away any bad or mouldy items first to prevent the rot from spreading. If you have herbs, extend their lifespan by wrapping them in damp paper towel and putting them in an airtight container. If you picked up mushrooms, empty them into a paper bag so they won’t turn damp and mushy.

    (Also Read: How To Eat Four Servings Of Fruits & Vegetables Every Day)

    All images: Pixabay

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  • Freeze your food
    2 / 6 Freeze your food

    Shopped too much and can’t use your herbs, fruits and vegetables fast enough? Don’t let them turn yellow and wrinkly. Chop them up and store them in your freezer to preserve their nutrients and to ensure a ready supply of produce whenever you need them. Some foods freeze better than others, but for soft, leafy herbs and berries that might turn mushy once defrosted, all is not lost. You can use the fruits in baked goods and add the greens to stews, pestos and sauces.

    (Also Read: 8 Easy & Delicious Ways to Eat More Vegetables)

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  • Try blanching
    3 / 6 Try blanching

    Not many home cooks do this, but to preserve the vibrancy of colour and taste in vegetables, as well as their vitamins and minerals, steam your greens for a minute or dip them in hot water before quickly taking them out and dunking them in icy water. The heat will deactivate enzymes that cause deterioration while the cool water keeps produce crisp and crunchy. At this point, you can either transfer the vegetables to the freezer, or store them in the fridge so you can snack on them over the next few days.

    (Also Read: 7 Of The Most Nutritious Vegetables)

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  • Leave your foods whole
    4 / 6 Leave your foods whole

    On busy weeks, meal prepping can help you save time as well as money, but if possible, don’t put your meals together too far in advance. Chopping vegetables exposes more surfaces to air, which causes vitamins and minerals to oxidise and deteriorate. Furthermore, nutrient levels go down the longer you leave your produce.

    (Also Read: Make Your Vegetables Taste Way Better With These Tips)

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  • Limit the cooking
    5 / 6 Limit the cooking

    The longer you cook your food, or the more times you reheat it, the less vitamins remain, so try to limit heat exposure as much as possible. Besides, it’s much more enjoyable to eat crisp and green vegetables instead of mushy leaves.

    (Also Read: 10 Unusual Vegetables for Meatless Mondays)

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  • Drink your soup
    6 / 6 Drink your soup

    Steaming tends to retain more vitamins and minerals in fruits and vegetables, as some nutrients like folic acid and vitamins B and C are water-soluble. However, if you’re making soup or stews, be sure to have the whole lot so you don’t miss out on the health-giving compounds that leached into the water.

    (Also Read: 6 Tips to Remove Pesticides From Fruits and Vegetables)

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